Every year schools have to take more and more from their budgets, and that can mean cuts in some of the physical education programs we took for granted as kids.
The Importance of Physical Education Audra Lowe: It seems like every single year, schools are having a cut more and more from their budgets and that obviously means cuts in some of the physical education programs that we took for granted as kids. It also means that for some kids, the most exercise they’re going to see all day long is during recess. Tony has more in today’s Better Parenting. Tony Martinez: If you ask most kids what their favorite subject is, they’ll probably just smile and say, “Recess.” We can’t blame them. It’s a lot of fun and games but there’s a lot more going on behind recess that meets the eye. Chris Marino: The main thing is they’re getting up tuning to get physical activity. Tony Martinez: Whether it’s swinging, hopping, or just running in a circle, the first goal of recess is movement. Chris Marino: There have been many studies that have been done, the correlation between academic success and physical exercise. They get a chance to just relax and run around. Tony Martinez: In fact, studies have shown that the odds of passing certain Math and English exams increases as the number of fitness test students pass also increases. Of course, all of that gets lost in the pure fun of it. Chris Marino: The playground we have is great. They have a lot of options. Tony Martinez: Having those options also makes recess unique. It’s the time of the day when kids have the least adult direction and that most opportunity to have things their way. Freedom to choose is a powerful thing when you’re ten years old, and there’s something for everyone. Chris Marino: We play a game called soccer wall on here, which the kids love. But now there’s a game called “Spider” which is a tag game that we play here. There is a game called “Fireball.” Tony Martinez: But recess isn’t just about running around, it’s also about how you get along with everyone else while you’re running around. It’s about learning how to get along and solving problems. Chris Marino: They understand in sports and athletics in a life, they’re going to be dealing with situations sometimes that they come up with the answers. She’s got a good rhythm. Tony Martinez: As a general rule, Mr. Marino likes to keep the kids well informed and self directed. Chris Marino: We give them the tools. We teach them how to do things, and then we give an opportunity to kind of go on their own. Everybody gets a chance to play, and you know they all support each other. We have judges in the games that watch the game we have. They make teams. We do it fairly where they’ll be matched up by their abilities. Tony Martinez: But even with all of that in place, competition can lead to hurt feelings. Nobody likes to loose on the playground. That means to be kept in prospective. Chris Marino: At the end of the day, it’s not going to matter who wins or looses, it’s getting around the friendships they have, and the time that they have together. That’s what they’re going to remember the most. Anytime somebody comes out, it should be a fun, wonderful experience that they can get some exercise and just have a great time together. Tony Martinez: Most students spend six or seven hours at school each day. Most of that time, they’re in a room at a chair and a desk. Recess is the break kids need to make every minute in the classroom count. Chris Marino: Because the main thing is that they all get a break. So, they get head back in the classroom enthusiastic and ready to learn. Tony Martinez: Here in—they’re pretty lucky. There’s quite a bit of physical education. Some [Inaudible] cut it completely. There’s no cutting recess or underestimating the value of it. I’m Tony Martinez. Thanks for watching. Audra Lowe: Well, as Tony just showed us, kids are always coming up with some new games to play at recess but in a recent survey, kids still pick four square as their favorite game on the blacktops, some things just don’t change.